Framed around Queen Victoria's decision on England's political stance towards the Zulu Nation, this mini-series details King Shaka's rise and fall with mythic detail. Prophecy is mixed with recorded fact regarding Shaka's birth, exile, innovations in warfare, assumption of the throne, building of the Zulu Empire, first contact with Europe and the events that lead to his downfall. Written by
Renee Ann Byrd <email@example.com>
The Story is told based in the writings of Edward Fox's character, an adventurer named Francis George Farewell. Therefore, the more savage side of his nature is undubitably exaggerated.
To the best of our knowledge the salient points are correct, even to Henry Cele sharing the same basic build as Shaka, both of them quite imposing. There is some European romanticism tossed in, but it should be must viewing for anyone who loves history. Pooh-poohed by some critics as preposterous (as was Ghost in the Darkness, also an essentially true story), it is no more amazing than Napoleon's rise from obscurity to absolute power. They parallel in so many ways, in fact, that Shaka is oft called the "Napoleon of Africa". Though many Zulus consider Napoleon the "Shaka of Europe"
The production was fraught with controversy (it was filmed in South Africa before sanctions were lifted) but tries to convey a complex and fascinating story set in a tribal Africa steeped in mysticism with ideas about life and death that were very different from Europe. It manages to convey those ideas, and Shaka's formidible intellect, quite well. On top of that, it has as its star the perfect actor for the part.
Highly recommended and worth the time it takes to view it.
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